Barkley and Mirallas can spark Everton revival, says Martin Keown

Ross Barkley

The Blues endured a difficult campaign last season, but their former defender is optimistic ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.

Martin Keown has told the Premier League’s official website that Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas can spark an Everton revival next season.

The Blues endured a disappointing 2014/15 campaign as they struggled to deal with the added fixtures in the Europa League and finished 11th in the table, after flirting with relegation at one point in the season.

That poor showing came after Roberto Martinez’s first year in charge was judged to have been highly successful, with a fifth-placed finish seeing the club set a record points tally and narrowly miss out on Champions League qualification.

And Keown says developing a system with both Barkley and Mirallas thriving is key to any potential future success.

"Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley are two players who really excite me,” he told premierleague.com.

“I think it's a case of, can Martinez get both of those players on the pitch at the same time and try and develop a system that incorporates both of them? Because when they run at people they are great talents."

A midfield full of competition

The Blues are expected to add new faces this summer, like everyone else, with defence a particular issue that needs addressing given that both Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz have left the club.

So far, though, they have been busy adding midfielders, with Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley joining the club from Barcelona and Manchester United respectively.

Both are players that Martinez has worked with before, and Keown is optimistic regarding their addition, saying there is going to be a lot of competition in the midfield areas.

“There's going to be a lot of competition there,” he added.

“Deulofeu is a real box of tricks, full of pace. He looks like a good acquisition. Cleverley's an interesting one. A big signing for Everton but [he has] a lot to prove for him just to get into the team.”

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